Seniors Get Celebrity Shoutouts as LCUSD Sets Grade Plan

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The La Cañada Unified School District announced it will allow students grades 7-12 to choose a credit/no credit option or a graded report card this semester.

These unprecedented times have made senior year a non-traditional one for the La Cañada High School graduating class of 2020, a trend that continued last week as students earning their diploma received surprising bits of encouragement from celebrities.
LCHS seniors have been receiving personalized messages of support and encouragement in videos from celebrities, posted on Twitter, including congratulatory shoutouts from Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, Chris B. Harrison of the “Bachelor” franchise, podcast host Adam Carolla and radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky.
The viral messages have ranged from funny to heartfelt to cheeky congratulations to the seniors, who’ve missed out on a whole slew of memory-filled events due to the “Safer at Home” order meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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LCHS 7-12 Spring Home Tour Is May 1-31

The virtual La Cañada Spring Home Tour experience, brought to attendees this year in the comfort of their own homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being held from May 1-31.
“While sheltering, be inspired as you are transported into four of La Cañada’s most inviting and unique living spaces,” an event spokesperson said in a statement. “See them for yourself on personal tours led by VIP guides, while raising crucial funds for LCHS 7-12 in 2020-21. If you haven’t been able to attend in the past, you can now. And if you’re a long-time Home Tour devotee, we appreciate your continued support of the new format.
“We look forward to ‘seeing’ you in May. Keep taking care of each other. Let’s do ‘distancing’ and come together at the same time to support LCHS 7-12 as never before. We got this, La Cañada!”
Visit lacanadahometour.com for ticket and sponsorship information through May 31.

LCUSD Deliberates on 2020-21 School Year

In a regular meeting of the La Cañada School District Governing Board on Tuesday, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette tackled an update on what many students and families have been anxiously — and with trepidation — waiting to hear: What the future of learning holds in La Cañada Flintridge.
In short, Sinnette summed up, nobody is certain on a plan, but the district is working hard to create various scenarios on how it intends to open the 2020-21 school year, with possible options including staggered student schedules though an “a.m. or p.m.” possibility or even alternating days. Whatever approach is considered and decided upon, Sinnette said, she will be informing the LCUSD community as it happens.
“I know everyone is listening to the news and I think we all have more questions than answers right now,” the superintendent said, “but [we] are creating timelines for plan implementation; we are engaged in educational research looking at all kinds of options, we are identifying strengths and limitations of various scenarios, and so I want our community to be rest assured there is in-depth research taking place and we will begin to communicate in a transparent fashion all of our plan development over the next weeks and months.
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Superintendent Updates Community on School District’s Plans

By Wendy Sinnette
Special to The Outlook

Wendy Sinnette

I hope this letter finds you managing as well as possible the requirements of the “Safer at Home” order as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of our families and community. I am so proud of everyone’s efforts and the spirit of civic responsibility and unity that has emerged during these unprecedented times. On behalf of the La Cañada Unified School District, I want to thank you for stepping up and staying strong in your response to flattening the coronavirus infection curve.
Our district schools have had to face more rapid-fire transformative change in response to the school facility closures than perhaps in the history of our district – definitively more than anytime within my 9 years as superintendent. On the heels of the Governing Board’s decision to close our school campuses effective March 13, 2020, our teachers immediately pivoted and began to engage students in distance learning. For the first three-week period, lessons were delivered digitally to students and these lessons were encouraged but optional, focusing on enrichment, remediation, and reinforcement of the curriculum.
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Virtual Home Tour to Benefit LCHS 7-12

Photo courtesy Dave Bon
La Cañada Spring Home Tour Committee members who have prepared for this year’s “virtual” fundraiser include (front row, from left) Sharon Grey, Rachel Chan, LCHS 9-12 PTSA President Tamar Tujian, Christine Chant, Suzanne Jensen, LCHS 7/8 PTA President Christa Evans, Andrea Vacheron and Betty Bredemann. Back: Sue Auther, Frances Delgatty, Heather Scherbert, Julie Oushana, Joyce Mayne, Jennifer Riegler, Christina Conwell, Stephanie Weber, Valier Talbert, Lola Dietrich, Diana Jou and Cathy Steward. Not pictured: Caroline Anderson, Betsy Asher Hall, Vanetta Barton, Lindsey Becker, Holly Breckheimer, Lee Chumo, Jennifer Ferry, Gillian Frame, Natascha Gunderson, Jennifer Jewel, Stuart McKinney and Mary Perkins.

While the format of this year’s La Cañada Spring Home Tour has shifted online, its mission will stay intact. Undeterred committee members, led by co-chairs Christine Chant and Suzanne Jensen, have reinvented this year’s event as a result of safer-at-home orders. They remain determined to carry on this 34-year-old tradition and La Cañada High School PTSA and 7/8 PTA’s biggest annual fundraiser.
“The money brought in by Home Tour tickets and sponsorships is crucial for the 2020-21 school year,” Chant said. “Our hope is that with the community’s support, we can still raise these funds, even during this period of social distancing. We want to continue making LCHS an amazing place of learning and growth for our students.”
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LCUSD: Lawsuit by Students Alleging Racism ‘Resolved’

A lawsuit filed by the families of four former La Cañada High School students last year alleging racial discrimination on the part of La Cañada Unified School District, site administration and an LCHS teacher in relation to an alleged student cheating incident has been resolved, LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said in a statement Wednesday.
“There was no monetary settlement provided by the district or its representative agencies in this matter,” Sinnette said.
The lawsuit, filed in September 2019, was related to discipline issued regarding an alleged coordinated cheating effort on a test in an Advanced Placement European history class in October 2018. In the civil complaint that was obtained by The Outlook and is public record, four students and their guardians accused LCHS’ principal and a history teacher of helping enact a “covert and systemic policy of discrimination against Korean students.” The student plaintiffs received zeros as discipline and were required to essentially drop the class after it was claimed that they cheated on the test.
LCUSD said that as part of resolving the lawsuit, each of the four students signed a document that effectively retracts and denies all claims of racism by any LCUSD employees.
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LCHS Junior Launches 3-D Effort for Healthcare Workers

Photo courtesy J.T. Salcido
La Cañada High School junior J.T. Salcido is spearheading the “LCHS Cares” effort to print 3-D face shields to help hospital workers.

La Cañada High School junior J.T. Salcido has kept busy so far during his school’s hiatus on coronavirus social distancing, and now, spring break is set to get even busier.

Salcido has launched the “LCHS Cares” project, an effort to print 3-D face shields to help hospital workers protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea came up when Salcido, 17, said his father, Craig, who works at an Orange County hospital, began seeing patients with respirator masks. The doctor had heard 3-D digital masks might be possible for health care workers, and asked his tech-savvy son if he might lend a hand.

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Virtual La Cañada Spring Home Tour

Soon, you’ll probably be done with your Netflix shows and seen all HGTV has to offer. How about tuning in to this year’s reinvented Virtual La Cañada Spring Home Tour? This annual fundraiser for La Cañada High School is going digital on May 1 — with tours of four beautiful local homes to enjoy, from the comfort of yours. Despite social distancing, we can still come together as a community for some spring fun and a welcome distraction. The funds raised are crucial to LCHS 7-12 in 2020-21. Visit lacanadahometour.com for tickets and sponsorships.

Spring Home Tour Going ‘Virtual’ This Year

By Betty Bredemann
Special to The Outlook

The La Cañada Spring Home Tour has been a local tradition for 34 years, and this year’s organizing committee wasn’t going to let COVID-19 and social distancing curb its efforts. In mid-March, when a quick pivot was needed, the newly reinvented Virtual Home Tour was born.
“The hope is that our community can still come together to help raise counted-on funding for the 2020-21 school year at La Cañada High School 7-12,” said event co-chair Suzanne Jensen. “Last year, Home Tour brought in over $80,000 allocated to very important efforts across campus.”
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LCUSD Extends School Closures Through May 5

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
The La Cañada Unified School District board and staff members met virtually on March 31 at a special meeting that included Anais Wenn (front, from left), Dan Jeffries and Brent Kuszyk. Middle: Mark Evans, Ellen Multari and Kaitzer Puglia. Back: Joe Radabaugh, Jamie Lewsadder and Wendy Sinnette.

The La Cañada Unified School District board voted to extend school closures through Tuesday, May 5, at a Tuesday night special virtual meeting, and acknowledged that the timeline could be further pushed back.
The vote took into account the recommended May 5 date put forth by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The meeting featured governing board members attending virtually, or via video conferencing site Zoom, and was broadcast live on YouTube.
Before voting, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette spoke of the statement from the California Department of Education, sent earlier on Tuesday, which said it “currently appears” students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.
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